8 min read

🦉 Tech Strategy, the Bus Factor, Disappointment, Behavioural Interviews, Judging Risk, Ghost Bus, Making Mistakes: TMW #382

We want to hear about your engineering strategy! Drop us a line
This issue of TMW is sponsored by CTO Craft's Mentoring Circles - the fastest way to build confidence and learn from other technology leaders.

Howdy! It's Monday!

A well-defined engineering strategy acts as a compass for your tech team, guiding them towards the company's goals. It fosters efficient use of resources by prioritising projects that directly contribute to the bigger picture. This focus translates to faster innovation and higher quality products. Moreover, a clear strategy fosters collaboration across the organisation, ensuring everyone is working in sync. Ultimately, it empowers engineers to see the impact of their work, leading to a more motivated and productive team.

We're going to be looking into creating great engineering strategies more closely over the coming months - keep your eyes peeled for some guides, videos and insights from technology leaders who've built and implemented successful strategies. Drop us a line if you'd like to get involved!

Tickets are now on sale for the next CTO Craft Con, which will be in Berlin in September - grab yourself a Super Early Bird ticket, and don't forget to use the community discount code: Community-Berlin-24

See you next week! On with the links

Andy @ CTO Craft

What are the Key Takeaways from Our 2024 Tech Leader Compensation Survey? | CTO Craft
We recently published our 2024 CTO Compensation Report results. We’re excited to share insights of this industry benchmarking initiative.

CTO Craft Events

CTO Craft Con: Berlin | 24th - 25th September 2024
CTO Craft Con will bring together hundreds of Chief Technology Officers and other senior technology leaders from the most exciting start-ups, scale-ups, unicorns, and big tech companies to elevate their engineering culture in Berlin, Sep 2024
CTO Craft Bytes: Investing in AI - Opportunities and Pitfalls for Leaders
Over the course of the evening, we will delve into strategic investment opportunities across industries, discuss risk management strategies to navigate potential pitfalls, and share insights on future-proofing your AI investments in a rapidly evolving landscape.
CTO Craft Mixer: Edinburgh 2024
Join our community of CTOs and senior tech leaders for an informal meet-up in Edinburgh
CTO Craft Mixer: Bucharest 2024
Join our community of CTOs and senior tech leaders for an informal meet-up in Bucharest.

Reads of the Week

How to Build Engineering Strategy
A Guide for Engineering Leaders at All Levels

About Mentoring Circles

A step-change in your leadership growth: Mentoring Circles for Tech Leaders

Imagine this – a space where industry veterans, visionaries and those shaping the future of tech leadership come together to work through challenges.

Welcome to Mentoring Circles! Joining a Circle gives you access to a close-knit group of peers who meet regularly to share insights and support each other through solution-finding. Your group will be led by an expert facilitator to guide the conversation.

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A huge thanks to all our sponsors and partners, who make Tech Manager Weekly and the CTO Craft community possible:

AWS, Albany Partners, Code Climate, Coherence, HeadChannel, Google Cloud, Jellyfish, Polly, Skiller Whale, Softwire, Sema, Unblocked, Uplevel, Vention, YLD, 101 Ways

Leadership, Strategy & Business

Valueless CTO: High Salary, No Return
Let’s talk about something nobody in the startup Slack channels wants to admit out loud: Sometimes, the CTO is just... there. They’re taking up space,
The Bus Factor of Your Tech Vision Should not be 1
Why it’s crucial for CTOs and engineering leaders to assess and mitigate the bus factor in their tech strategies, ensuring their vision withstands transitions and secures company-wide buy-in.
The Journey to Healthy Leadership Habits
I’m just going to grab a coffee...Even if you don’t drink coffee, I bet you have a routine of getting your favourite drink in a particular location at a certain time. For me, this is a cup of coffee at lunch time in my kitchen.And you are not alone - we all have our daily routines which feature our unique habits.But why are habits so important in our lives and how can they affect our ability to reach our leadership potential?I believe that a lack of self-awareness is holding many of us back from
Balancing Advocacy and Inquiry
Most advice on leadership communication focuses on getting better at advocacy – crafting the message, effective delivery, and so on. What leaders forget is to balance their advocacy with equal amounts of inquiry. How are the two different and why does it matter? I take a closer look at the critical

Culture, People & Teams

No Wrong Doors.
Some governmental agencies have started to adopt No Wrong Door policies, which aim to provide help–often health or mental health services–to individuals even if they show up to the wrong agency to request help. The core insight is that the employees at those agencies are far better equipped to navigate their own bureaucracies than an individual who knows nothing about the bureaucracy’s internal function. For the most part, technology organizations are not complex bureaucracies, but sometimes they do seem to operate that way.
The Disappointment Frontier
Keeping your team far from reality can cause a big fat mess.
How I build and run behavioral interviews
This is an adaptation of an internal doc I wrote for Wave. I used to think that behavioral interviews were basically useless, because it was too easy for candidates to bullshit them and too hard for me to tell what was a good answer. I’d end up grading every candidate as an “okay, I guess” because I was never sure what bar I should hold them to. I still think most behavioral interviews are like that, but after grinding out way too many of them, I now think it’s possible to escape that trap.
How To Make Cross-functional Collaboration Work | Management 3.0
Exploring cross-functional collaboration: Insights from early steps in 2011 and a decade of fostering teamwork among diverse skill sets.

Technology, Operations & Delivery

You can’t judge risk in hindsight
A while back, the good folks at Google SRE posted an article titled Lessons Learned from Twenty Years of Site Reliability Engineering. There’s some great stuff in here, but I wanted to pick o…
HolaDev - Why Backlog Refinement Meetings Matter
Software development can feel like an epic quest – tackling bugs, building features, writing documentation, designing architecture. What happens when your team gets into the battle without preparation?
Scrum’s Built-in ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ Against Criticism
When Scrum Doesn’t Work, It’s Always Your Fault
Beryl and the ghost buses — humanizing public transport data
In ‘Beryl and the Ghost Buses’, we explore Thoughtworks’ mission to humanize public transport data. Using Beryl’s bus mishap, we highlight the need for accurate and reliable data. Our simple fix—showing only buses with detected signals—aims to improve the travel experience for all users. This approach enhances accessibility and inclusivity, creating a public transport system that truly serves its users.

Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

On Making Mistakes - Leadership & Work
What connects chess, applied improv classes and high-performing Formula 1 teams?
Why We Struggle to Prioritize
Prioritization is one of the most challenging tasks we face, both in our personal and professional lives. We constantly juggle multiple responsibilities, projects, and goals, all competing for our limited time and attention. Despite our best intentions, we often find ourselves overwhelmed and

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